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Development and Implementation of a Curriculum to Improve Clinicians Self-directed Learning Skills: A Pilot Project, The

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BACKGROUND: Clinicians need self-directed learning skills to maintain competency. The objective of this study was to develop and implement a curriculum to teach physicians self-directed learning skills during inpatient ward rotations. METHODS: Residents and attendings from an internal medicine residency were assigned to intervention or control groups; intervention physicians completed self-directed learning curricular exercises. RESULTS: Among the 43 intervention physicians, 21 (49%) completed pre- and post-curriculum tests; and 10 (23%) completed the one-year test. Immediately after exposure to the curriculum, the proportion of physicians defining short- and long-term learning goals increased [short-term: 1/21 (5%) to 11/21 (52%), p=0.001; long-term: 2/21 (10%) to 15/21 (71%), p=0.001]. There were no significant changes post-curriculum in the quantity or quality of clinical question asking. The physicians' mean self-efficacy (on a 100-point scale)improved for their abilities to develop a plan to keep up with the medical literature (59 vs. 72, p=0.04). The effects of the curriculum on self-reported learning behaviors was maintained from the immediate post-curriculum test to the one-year post-curriculum test: [short-term learning goals: 1/21 (5%) pre-, 11/21 (52%) immediately post-, and 5/10 (50%) one-year after the curriculum (p=0.0075 for the pre- vs one-year comparison); long-term learning goals: 2/21 (10%) pre-, 15/21 (71%) immediately post-, and 7/10 (70%) one-year (p=0.0013 for the pre- vs. one-year comparison). At one year, half of the participants reported changed learning behaviors. CONCLUSION: A four-week curriculum may improve self-directed learning skills.

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